Japan Trip Day 1 & 2 – Travel Day

by May 22, 2015

Let me start by saying that traveling anywhere over 2 hours on a plane can be a real pain for anyone. Not to mention that the total trip from Miami to Japan was about 20 hours including layovers and waiting through lines at Japanese customs section. To put icing on the cake I decide to stay up 27 plus hours to dampen the jet lag / time difference of 13 hours once we got here.

As soon as we took off I cocooned myself in the seat and began my attempt at 6 hours of sleep on the plane. As most anyone knows sleeping on a plane is not an easy thing to pull off but it shaved some time off the trip. I do have to say that American Airlines really, I mean really needs to add wifi to these fights. I could have watched a ton of Netflix shows that have been on my list for years. A bright side to the flight is we got all the free beer we could stomach and two versions of airplane meals.

After a short trip through customs and picking up our bags we began the real journey of getting our train passes, wifi and getting on correct train to the hotel. With a combo of Google translate and directional pointing I was able to pick up the wifi unit that would be providing us internet where ever we go (want to add where you got the wifi from and how much it costs?). Getting the train pass was a bit of the same but it helped that the attendant’s english was better than most. Now came the hard part, figuring out how to get to the express train from the airport and to the hotel. Let me tell you that Tokyo station, even on a weekend, is a busy place and if you’re not going with the traffic flow of people, you’ll be in the way.

After a few attempts at reading a few train schedule boards we made it to the correct platform but encountered our second problem, which side of the platform. It seems that the trains don’t stop at every stop on each side but have express trains that stop at a few stations. With luck we boarded the correct train. During our ride an older Japanese man noticed we looked lost and in his best english voice asked if he could help. I explain that we were trying to find a certain station, he looked at me and said, “My english is very poor”. I smiled and thanked him for the help and returned to the making sure we won’t miss our stop.

After arriving at our station we begin the 20 minute walk to the hotel with our bags. We started to notice three things in Tokyo: 1)The street look brand new everywhere you go, 2) there are no trash cans but you would have a hard time finding trash on the street and 3) no one wears sandals here. I mean we got a few looks down at our feet but we learned the lesson quickly.

After a quick check in we made it to the room door (add hotel name and pp/night?). I open the door and was expecting a small room but wow….this was a small room. It felt like half of a college dorm room but missing a beer fridge. My luggage was having trouble fitting by the bed. After experiencing the joys and pitfalls of a Japanese toilet (will spare you the details), we ventured out for dinner before trying to get some sleep.

We decided to wing it and find a traditional restaurant around the hotel. After walking a few blocks we came upon a 7 story building filled with individual restaurants on each floor. We decided on doing sushi for the first meal in Tokyo. We arrived on the floor and were greeted by a few individuals. We were seated at the bar and began to wonder how in the heck could we order anything as the menu was entirely in Japanese. After about 15mins and the help of Google translate, btw a true lifesaver visiting here, we order a sushi platter and some chicken dish. As we waited for our meal we were greeted by an unusual appetizer dish that had a mix of fish and something I have no idea what it was.

It was a great experience overall and tomorrow begins our first full day in Tokyo.

The traveling Puerto Rican – Johnny